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Confident Jalal backs Cherries' quality
Published : 07 Feb 2010 07:00:00
BULLISH Shwan Jalal ended his two-month wait for a Dean Court clean sheet and then warned Cherries' rivals: We can beat anybody in League Two. Cherries again failed to produce their best form on home soil as they were held to a goalless draw by Cheltenham Town yesterday. In a tight game of few chances, Brett Pitman twice came close as the hosts dominated the latter stages, but Cherries were unable to secure a third consecutive victory. Despite his team failing to hit the heights of the away performances which yielded excellent wins at Crewe and Rotherham, Jalal remained optimistic. Reflecting on the goalless draw, he said: The second half was pretty much all us attacking, but fair play to Cheltenham. We were in that position last season when we played away from home. They stuck to their job and got away with a point, but we're also a point closer to where we want to be. Cheltenham stuck to their job, but not every team that comes down here is going to stick to their job and we're going to get opportunities. We've just got to keep grinding away and, whether it's a bit of luck or a bit of magic from one of our players, we'll get the positive result. With Cherries preparing to take on Notts County in a key home clash on Tuesday, the influential goalkeeper is upbeat about his side's prospects against one of the division's other major promotion contenders. He said: We know that on our day, we can beat anybody in this league. I think we've got nothing to fear. We've just got to go out on Tuesday and play the way we know we can the way we played against Crewe and Rotherham. If we play like that, I don't think we should fear anybody. Although Cherries did not get the desired result against Cheltenham, Jalal played his part by ending a six-match wait for a clean sheet, with the shut-out his first at Dean Court since the victory over Shrewsbury on December 5. He added: The games we lost were a small blip. But we went to Crewe, who have got three great strikers, and we contained them. We went to Rotherham and that was only their second defeat at home this season, so that speaks volumes for how we are playing. We went through a blip but it is good that the past three games we are unbeaten and we kept a clean sheet yesterday, so I think everybody is taking the positives out of that. I had one save to make and it made it even better that the striker (Justin Richards) is one of my best friends. Unfortunately we didn't get the goal at the other end, but we tested the keeper and he stuck to his job as well. We've got to take the positives out of the game and look to Notts County.